In late 2020, I was lucky enough to win the Surface Laptop Go (Colour: Ice Blue) in a contest! I’ve been using it for the past month, and will be sharing my honest thoughts as an end user. To provide some context, I have been using both Apple and Microsoft products for several years. Personally, I use a 16″ Macbook Pro (2020) and professionally (for work), I use a 15″ Surface Book 2.
Please note that I am not a professional tech & specs reviewer. I wrote this from a non-technical end user perspective, which may be helpful for moms and pops who are shopping for a new lightweight device.
Disclaimer: Please note that I am an employee of Microsoft but the views expressed in this blog post are my own and do not represent or reflect the opinions or positions of Microsoft or any other organization, employer, or company mentioned.
First Impressions: Look & Feel
Upon unboxing, it appears super sleek and portable. It is small, lightweight, and easy to carry around in one hand. I love that it has both a USB-C and USB-A port and a headphone jack in addition to the Surface Connect port (for magnetic charging). It seems both Surface devices and MacBooks love the mirror logo, but I personally find it annoying because of the finger prints and dust that keep collecting on it!
Because of its portability, I love bringing it around the house and especially when I am on the go. This device can easily fit into my tote bag. When the world eventually goes back to normal, I can see myself bringing this with me to coffee shops and to my meetings.
Integrating It Into My Work + Life
For the past month, I’ve been using my Surface Laptop Go as a second screen for my Surface Book 2 when I work upstairs in the kitchen. I do this using Miracast to wirelessly project my desktop, but I have experienced several issues with this cool feature. Although it seemed to work fine in the beginning, it would disconnect after 30 minutes and I would have to reconnect. Recently, I have found that it would disconnect only after 10-15 minutes, and then my Surface Laptop Go screen would flicker, transition to the blue screen of death, and then shut down ☹️ I still have not found a resolution for this issue yet.
Even when I am not wireless projecting, I can still use my Surface Laptop Go for work. Thanks to Microsoft Intune, I can securely connect to the VPN and do the same stuff as if I were on my work laptop.
Usability: On Its Own
When I am using the Surface Laptop Go on its own, I have found that it is fast and easy to start up. After a couple of weeks, I did notice that it started slowing down and I had to download CC Cleaner to try and resolve it. However, this “slow performance in the beginning” might just be me ? because I have noticed that it happens with every new device I get (even the almighty MacBook Pro). Recently, it seems to be doing just fine and I am staying on top of the Windows updates.
Although the Surface Laptop Go has a decent 720p HD camera, you cannot use it for Windows Hello Face Unlock, which requires the Infrared (IR) camera. However, you can use the Fingerprint Power Button for a seamless login. Again, it might just be me, but I have found the fingerprint sensor to be a hit-or-miss at times (and I’d have to try several times before successfully logging in).
I really like the touch screen feature, which is great for scrolling and navigating with your finger. Sadly, it is not compatible with the Surface Pen so you won’t be able to ink in OneNote or draw in Paint 3D. I also have no complaints with battery life so far (though I do keep it plugged in when I am projecting wirelessly). Personally, I like that the Surface Laptop Go does not have a backlit keyboard because I see this as a battery draining feature.
Overall, the portability of this “everyday, everywhere laptop” wins me over. This device can be ideal if you need to do some work on the go and in between physical meetings. However, I would still rely on a more powerful device (with a bigger screen) for the bulk of my workday.
At home, the Surface Laptop Go is great if you want something small and easy to use for simple tasks like surfing the web. Its small size is also perfect for kids and teenagers to use. I can easily see this being a travel companion on road trips or plane rides if your phone or tablet isn’t enough.
|Lightweight, Portable, Thin, Sleep||Miracast Screen Projection Reliability|
|USB-A, USB-C, Headphone Jack, Surface Connect||No Face Unlock for Windows Hello|
|One Touch Sign In is Convenient||Fingerprint Reader Iffy|
|Touch Screen||No Surface Pen Compatibility|
|Good Battery Life|
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